Page 155 - MBS 2022/23
P. 155

Having completed 2 previous posts Commanding AT Wings within the Army AT Centre, which is the
other half of the AT delivery organisation, and 2 years running the AT Policy desk in Army Headquarters, I was confident my background and knowledge would allow for a seamless insertion into the OC Training role. Having arrived in post early in Jul 22 towards the end of the Alpine Concentration (ALPCON, or JSAM as many know it), it was very clear that this was a high tempo, multi-faceted and complex role but, nonetheless, one which I was hugely looking forward to getting stuck into. The vacant post was being filled by Capt (MAA) Phil Mellor, who had covered the post (in addition to his role of OC I Wing) since the AT Legend that is, Maj (MAA) Russ Reid decided to call it a day and retire from the Service. It goes without saying that Russ has left a significant positive legacy, and if I had a pound for every time I have heard “Russ just used to do it” in response to one of my many questions, I’d be a very rich man. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Phil for his patience and support since I started here, his in-depth knowledge and awareness of the intricacies of JSMTC and its many AT Concentrations has been a lifesaver.
JSMTC as most will know, is a Type 4 delivery organisation, focussing on the delivery of Leader and Instructor courses. In addition to the routine course delivery, JSMTC also runs 22 major JSAT activity concentrations, 13 of which are based overseas. The JSMTC RSM (WO1 Sam Lingwood) and I were fortunate enough to be able to visit SPANROCK, with both of us being relatively new into post and wishing to understand more about the venue, and of course to enjoy some sun. Clearly, OC Trg under the watchful eye of the Concentration Chief Instructor (WO2 Liam Mills) set the standard for the RSM to follow on the climbing routes.
With an annual Training Task set by Army HQ to train just over 4000 students across 86 different JSAT courses, the tempo is relentless, but managed expertly by the ever-impressive team of Training Support Staff here in the HQ. The Training Team led by Ms Tracey Miles ensures there are appropriately qualified staff at the correct location, with the right number of students who all have the pre-requisites required, this in itself is a monumental task. Summer delivery in the Alps and the Winter Skiing and Mountaineering season is where JSMTC really comes into its own, and the outstanding and highly qualified instructors relentlessly deliver high-end and top quality JSAT courses across Canada and Europe. I have been
Major (MAA) S Semple RAPTC
   struck by just how much of a commitment is made by the instructional staff during the winter months, it’s common that they find themselves moving between Germany, Norway and the Scottish Highlands frequently with often very little time at home. The instructors are spread thin between Dec-Apr, with several of the Wings not seeing their staff for months at a time due to continually moving around delivering Winter Courses, particularly those with the high-level qualifications.
JSMTC are just about to enter a period of transition where they will have a new CO, OC Trg, QM, CQMS, RSM and Chief Instructor, in addition to each Wing welcoming a new OC within the space of 12-months. It is fair to say the continuity of knowledge from the loyal JSMTC Civil Servants will be absolutely essential to ensuring key business outputs are maintained without missing a beat.
Many MBS readers will know the JSMTC Chief Instructor, Mr Chris Forrest, who intends to retire in early 2024 after completing 15 years in the role. Chris has done an outstanding job raising the profile of the organisation, creating strong links with the NGBs and reinforcing the organisation as a credible employer in the competitive outdoor environment. His advice and guidance has helped many an ATI as they develop and move through the various schemes throughout their ATI journey. We all wish Chris well for the future.
Each of the delivery Wings will give a brief overview of what has been keeping them busy, but as always, it will be a brief snapshot, with never enough space to fully articulate the breadth and volume of the work done out there in the AT ‘Shires.’
OC Trg setting the climbing standard for the RSM

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